It wasn't always like this.
Once upon a time, the Phillies owned the Nationals. Whenever the Phillies would play in DC, thousands of Phillies fans would invade the stadium, flooding the seats with a slightly different shade of red and a whole lot of attitude. Not Natitude. The Phillies would slap the Nats around playfully before beating the crap out of them. Playing the Nationals was always a great ego booster for Phillies players and fans alike.
Those days are behind us. It's now the Nationals turn to slap us around before bringing the hammer down.
The Phillies lost to the Nationals in today's completely nonsensical and rather inconvenient 4:05 start. It sealed the sweep for the Nationals and gave the Phillies their sixth loss in a row. In their last 15 meetings, the Phillies have lost to the Nats 11 times.
Kyle Kendrick was Kyle Kendrick today, and that's all right with me. Four runs and six hits over seven innings, and you won't hear me complain about that. I will complain about the number of free passes Kendrick gave up, which was five. I am now complaining about that! Look at me complain! Kendrick gave up a knot of three runs in the fifth inning, when he allowed a double to Denard Span (who the Phillies haven't been able to tame this series), a single to Jayson Werth, and a homer to Adam LaRoche. But he lasted seven innings, helping the bullpen on their road back to normalcy and full rest.
Of note for the Phillies today was John Mayberry Jr, who took Doug Fister deep in the seventh inning. It was Mayberry's first home run and RBI as a starter this year. You may remember that Mayberry homered yesterday as well. Both yesterday's and today's homers were off right-handed hitters. You read that right. Well, correctly. And right. Right handed. Mayberry, much like the loch ness monster or the Chimera of Greek mythology, is a mystery.
Not of note: the rest of the Phillies offense. They had two hits in the first inning, and then two hits over the next eight innings. Mayberry's solo shot cut the deficit in half and they had just two runs to make up, and yet they couldn't get it done. No amount of closed-door meetings can to change the facts here -- these Phillies stink right now. Larry Anderson keeps saying that one hot streak could put them right back in the mix, which I think is more of a statement about how dreadful the NL East is than how close the Phillies are to relevance.
The Phillies are 9-20 since May 5. Yikes.
OK, that's a depressing way to end this recap. How about a Kevin Frandsen beard report? Kevin Frandsen's beard is now out of control. But his impression of a depression era boxcar trawling drifter is very impressive.